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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nigeria, a strategic market for Aviat – Burchell


The Vice President for Africa Region at Aviat Networks, Mr. Trevor Burchell, was in Nigeria recently on a working visit during which he spoke with Senior Reporter, REMMY NWEKE on the import of the company’s new brand identity and essence of his visit, as well as some industry issues.
Excerpts:


WHAT is the overall significance of your visit to Nigeria?
If you go back to the time before the GSM (Global System for Mobile) operations started in Nigeria, we had already started investing in this country with our solutions to most of the existing (CDMA) Code Division Multiple Access operators then. So it’s a market we’ve always believed in. We have invested heavily in the Nigerian market and obviously with the two previously existing brands that merged, , that is, Harris Corporation MCD and Stratex Networks; it was a matter of time before the merged brands will assume a new identity so that people will see it as the one company it truly is.

This is mostly because some people still saw the old brand (Harris Stratex) as two separate companies in the market. But the new brand brings with it corporate unity for the company.

One of the values or benefits of my visit to Nigeria is that it enables me to spend some quality time with our customers. I’ve had meetings with most of them since I came especially MTN, Bharti Airtel, and numerous other customers, which maintain long relationships with us not just in Nigeria but across Africa.

Therefore, it is always a normal thing to meet with our customers when I visit and engage them to understand their directions and current market dynamics.

So, what then is the value proposition of the recent brand identity change of Aviat Networks for Nigeria?

The new brand brings together the previously existing companies, because some customers used to see us as either Harris or Stratex networks. But we were also seen more as a company providing transmission services and transmission products.

With Aviat as it exists now, however, we have introduced some new solutions and products under the Aviat brand.

These include our Site Controller solution that helps control power and energy management for telecom sites as well as our current efforts in the WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) space by our acquisition of Telsima earlier.

So, we now have a lot of offerings from Aviat which will help establish the new brand and with the new identity, we have overcome our past identity problem; which is that we don’t just want to be known as a transmission service provider alone. I think the new brand gives us an opportunity to reposition the company for people to see us in a number of competencies than we were not previously known for.

One cardinal advantage Nigeria will have with the new brand is that instead of having a company previously known for transmission and microwave solutions, you now have an integrated telecom solutions management company with various areas of competence.

The new identity will now enable us to enter markets where we were not that well known before, and the previous identity will no longer be a stumbling block for us.

So, in areas like management services and WIMAX, Aviat hopes to capitalize on its new identity to explore and take control of such areas as we have done in other places.

Can you give us the general value of the Nigerian market within the Aviat Networks portfolio?
As I will always maintain, Nigeria is a very strategic market for us right now. It is actually the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world today, and it has been for a number of years now.

Even the economic slow-downs and the banking crises recorded in Nigeria and globally last year, didn’t affect the telecoms market in Nigeria much.

We believe in the Nigerian market and we are confident that it will still remain our number one market in the African region for the Aviat brand. Our message to the Nigerian market is that, the Aviat brand is still number one and we intend to remain number one as we have the people that are passionate about the business. We are also confident about Nigeria remaining our number one market in Africa.

How does this affect the recent change in management of Aviat Networks in Nigeria?
Change in management is something that always happens in any company and obviously if you looked at Nigeria specifically, our previous management probably did a lot for the company.

They did a lot in making us to be among the very top players in the Nigerian market. What we have tried to do is to make sure we grow our people internally and allow them to take over from our expatriates and drive the company forward.

Even though the leadership of the previous management brought us to where we are today in Nigeria, we still feel it’s time for our own people, in our local office to take over and run things. Mr. Olawale Osimosu is the new helmsman for the Nigerian office now.

We believe in our people and the change is meant to empower them and show our commitment to having Nigerians running our offices in Nigeria.

What is your projection for Aviat, for instance, in the next five years?
I think I still see Aviat as retaining its position as the leader in the market, but I also see a much stronger leap for us in the area of managed professional services.

Also, I think we have a lot to offer in terms of our ability to provide cost saving solutions to the operators and the ability to provide more solutions, that will enable operators optimize their current assets or existing infrastructure.


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Having things planned and following the correct strategy is what that finally help us with learning a lot agile business is surely a way of doing things better.